Former United States Marine serves Middle Georgia after losing his leg

PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A military hero was honored this morning in Houston County.

Houston County Board of Commissions saluted former U.S. Marine Sgt. Mark Smith during their regular commission meeting.

Smith shared an incredible story of how he overcame a serious injury.

Born and raised in Macon, Smith says he wanted to make a difference and serve in the military. In 2006, he was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq where he stepped on a land mine and lost his leg.

“I stepped on it and then fell back, while my unit got into an intense fight with snipers, I was forced into a hole filled with sewer water,” Smith explained.

Smith was taken to a hospital where they gave him a choice, either repair his left leg or amputate it. He chose to amputate and was fit with a prosthetic leg. After numerous surgeries and rehab, he was back in uniform. During his second deployment, he drove over a land mine. Twice, Smith overcame injuries and finally made it back to the United States, where he was awarded a Purple Heart.

In September 2014, Smith became a Georgia State Patrol Trooper.

“I wanted to do something similar to law enforcement, and this was my opportunity,” Smith explains. “This job is intense and sometimes I question myself but then remember to get back on the job.”

Houston County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Tommy Stalnaker, explained how Smith was a perfect example of why the board wants to honor more military veterans.

The men and women who fight for our great nation have a lot of scars that they will have to deal with for the rest of their lives, they deserve to be acknowledged each and every day,” Stalnaker stressed.

Smith will patrol the Perry area and tells us he is glad to call Middle Georgia home, once again.

Categories: Houston County, Local News

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